The Every Minute Counts Exercise Program
A new study shows that quality is more important than quantity. Exercise
has its benefits, but brisk exercise for shorter periods is shown to be
even more beneficial.
The recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise we should be doing each week can be had in small segments, instead of larger blocks, of activity. Researchers at the University of Utah have found that each minute of vigorous activity is associated with lower body mass index and weight loss.
Intense exercise in small pockets has the same effect on preventing
weight gain as does 10 minutes or more of exercise in a single session.
Considering less than 5% of Americans are attaining recommended levels of
exercise, this information is a good piece of news.
The news is especially encouraging for women who are less active than
men. Small bursts of brisk walking or simply using the stairs instead of
the elevator are all beneficial.
The Advantage of Intensity
Moderate to vigorous physical activity is characterized as a minimum of
2020 counts per minute (cpm) tracked on a tool called an accelerometer
that measures movement.
Researchers conducted a study involving about 4,500 men and women
between ages 16 and 64 to record their physical activity.
Each person wore an accelerometer. Physical levels of activity were
divided into four categories:
- The first was extended periods of high intensity of over 10 minutes duration with more than 2020 cpm per minute on the accelerometer.
- The second was short periods of high intensity under 10 minutes duration with more than 2020 cpm per minute on the accelerometer.
- The third was long periods of low intensity over 10 minutes duration with cpm between 760-2020 per minute.
- The fourth was short periods of low intensity under 10 minutes duration with cpm between 760-2020 per minute.
The final result of the testing showed that for each extra daily minute
of daily intense exercise, the possibility of being obese was lowered by
5% for women and 2% for men.
How to Pick Up the Pace
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines moderate
intensity activity as giving enough effort to raise your heart rate and
break a sweat.
Moderate activity can be riding a bike on level ground, brisk walking,
or pushing a lawn mower. Other options are dancing, gardening, and house
work or other domestic chores. There is activity in games or sports with
children, carrying or moving loads, and practicing traditional hunting
Vigorous to intense physical activity includes running, fast cycling,
aerobics and fast swimming. Competitive sports such as football,
volleyball, hockey and basketball also are good options.
Simpler suggestions include washing or waxing your car, chop vegetables
and wash dishes by hand. Try parking a little further from the store and
briskly walk those extra steps to the entrance. Push the baby in a
Remember, every minute counts and has its own dividends.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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